For Canadians, pride in our medical system is often on display on the world stage. However, for many of us, the system is anything but brag-worthy…
Certain procedures, such as bariatric surgery come at great risk. Either through inflated costs at private clinics, or magnificently long waiting lists for procedures to be even scheduled.
I will dive deeper, but first, a recap on what bariatric surgery actually is:
What is Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a category of medical procedure that encompasses a number of popular operations like gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries.
As such, Bariatric surgery is considered a last-resort option for those needing to lose weight, but for whom more traditional options like diet and exercise aren’t enough.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
There are a number of different kinds of Bariatric surgeries, here are a few of the most popular.
Biliopancreatic diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)
Biliopancreatic diversion with Duodenal Switch is a type of gastric bypass surgery that is a complex, multipart procedure, where about 80 percent of the stomach is removed.
The valve that releases food to the small intestine (the pyloric valve) remains, along with a limited portion of the small intestine that normally connects to the stomach (duodenum).
The surgery bypasses the majority of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach (duodenal switch and biliopancreatic diversion).
This surgery both limits how much you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients.
While it’s very effective, it has more risks, including malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
It’s generally used for people who have a body mass index greater than 50.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a newer type of weight-loss procedure.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty reduces the size of your stomach using an endoscopic suturing device without the need for surgery.
This procedure may be an option if you’re significantly overweight — a body mass index of 30 or more — and diet and exercise haven’t worked for you.
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty leads to significant weight loss. It helps you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat.
The procedure is minimally invasive, reducing the risk of operative complications.
Like other weight-loss procedures, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty requires commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)
This type of gastric bypass surgery is the most common method of gastric bypass.
This procedure is typically not reversible.
It works by decreasing the amount of food you can eat at one sitting and reducing absorption of nutrients.
The surgeon cuts across the top of your stomach, sealing it off from the rest of your stomach. The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about an ounce of food.
Normally, your stomach can hold about 3 pints of food. Then, the surgeon cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the pouch. Food then goes into this small pouch of stomach and then directly into the small intestine sewn to it.
Food bypasses most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine, and instead enters directly into the middle part of your small intestine.
An intragastric balloon is a newer kind of weight-loss procedure.
A saline-filled silicone balloon is placed in your stomach, which helps you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat. It also makes you feel fuller faster.
This procedure is an option if you’re overweight or obese, and diet and exercise haven’t worked for you.
A sleeve gastrectomy, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a newer type of weight-loss surgery.
The sleeve gastrectomy is actually the first part of the surgical process for a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.
However, the sleeve gastrectomy portion of surgery may be all that’s needed to lose sufficient weight — in some cases the second part, biliopancreatic diversion, isn’t needed.
With sleeve gastrectomy, the structure of your stomach is changed to be shaped like a tube, which restricts the amount of calories your body absorbs.
Who is Bariatric Surgery For?
Gastric bypass isn’t for everyone who is severely overweight.
You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery. You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify.
You must also be willing to make permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle.
You may be required to participate in long-term follow-up plans that include monitoring your nutrition, your lifestyle and behaviour, and your medical conditions.
The Problem with Bariatric Surgery
In some parts of the world having any kind of Bariatric procedure is pretty straightforward and in others, like Canada, a candidate might be forced to wait months or even years to get the surgery they need.
The obvious problem with this is that, for people who need Bariatric surgery, the difference between having their operation next-week versus next-year can be the difference between life and death.
In countries with public health care, in particular, the wait times can be significant and while it’s great for Canadians not to have to pay for their surgeries out of pocket, it comes with the expense of having to wait while you qualify and then wait on a surgeon and then continue to wait, wait, wait until, finally, your name gets called up.
This may be okay if the surgery you need is minor, but Bariatric surgery is time-sensitive and delays can (literally) be deadly.
The Solution to Quick and Easy Bariatric Surgery
While any kind of surgery is not something to undertake lightly, the last thing you need is to endlessly wait for something as critical to your health as Bariatric Surgery.
That is where concierge companies like Healthcare Connects and others come in: By going through Healthcare Connects, you can tap into an international source of qualified, top-tier surgeons who are read to perform your surgery as soon as possible.
Healthcare Connects works with some of the best medical groups in Mexico and elsewhere and enables you, the patient, to undergo a number of different kinds of popular Bariatric surgeries including: Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass, and revision surgery, all of which are sure to help you get down to your goal weight and get healthy for the long-term.
If you live in Canada and need a timely operation, consider a medical-service provider like Healthcare Connects to get the surgery you need, when you need it.